But my point is that it solves the problem much better than monads do - in particular if you don't just look at the syntax/user interface level, but at the non-functional aspects, like debuggability, performance, etc.
I remember a time when Aspect Oriented Programming was all the rage, with point cuts etc to capture cross-cutting aspects of your program. AOP is certainly less generic than monads, but even with rather specialized tools, it turns out the two "killer apps" of AOP were much better served by runtime support in the VM (logging/debugging) and explicit code (transactions).
I'm skeptical about the holy grail that you describe. I see how it's attractive, but in my work experience, the pragmatics of solving a particular issue often turn out to be harder (sometimes much) than the theoretical aspects.
There's certainly influence from more theoretical research in all we do in CS, but for example with Go, it's only based on Hoare's CSP model in the most abstract sense, and its implementation of lightweight threads, its stack model etc are definitely in the domain of clever engineering, not breakthrough research.
Indeed... beware the tech promoted with the same example over and over again. That's a huge red flag.